NASA will impact the moon with a rocket on Friday to confirm or deny the existence of water ice which scientists think exists on billions of gallons but haven't been able to prove it.
A live broadcast of the impacts beginning at 6:15 a.m. EST on October 9 will be available online at NASA TV.
The mission named LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) will impact a lunar solar pole Friday at 7:30 a.m. EST creating a debris plume that will rise above the lunar surface. It is expected to send 350 tons of rock and soil flying in all directions.
Then a spacecraft will fly through the debris plume, collecting and relaying data back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface and creating a second debris plume. Using visible and infrared spectrometers NASA will monitor any water-ice, hydrocarbons or organics.
We are going to whack the moon in a controlled experiment to try to really understand what's in the lunar soil. Could it actually contain some of the most important stuff for human exploration and for science, James Garvin, former NASA's chief scientist commented on NBC's Today Show.